Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymek’ D7018 at Blue Anchor at the tail end of 1405 Dunster to Norton Fitzwarren service (headed by WSR 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ 9351) while BR(W) 4-6-0 7822 ‘FOXCOTE MANOR’ stands alongside at the head of the 1320 Bishops Lydeard to Blue Anchor service (the loco will run around her train after the other train has departed). Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0
Last weekend, the DEPG was busy supporting the home steam fleet with their AUTUMN STEAM GALA and the event went pretty much to plan, apart from the weather. Friday was the best day weather-wise and Sunday was OK in between the showers, but Saturday was very wet all day and made photography quite challenging. We had to substitute Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) for Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 on the Sunday due to operational issues, but we can confirm that the loco is OK and will be able to take part in the last of the booked diesel-hauled services for this season, the ‘excursion’ special on Saturday 16th October.
Here are some pictures of the AUTUMN STEAM GALA event, snapped during the drier moments:
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 is powered up at 0620 on the first day of the event to start the pre-heater that warms the engine before it is started up. This process takes around 90 minutes and is essential to ensure a clean startup and smooth running of the Bristol-Siddeley Maybach MD870 engine. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 has started up and has shunted Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048, not visible in this view) out of her way so that she can escape the South Yard at Williton to take her position at the head of the 0924 Williton to Bishops Lydeard service. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
Williton Railcam capture showing six locomotives – clockwise L-R, ‘Hymek’ D7017 is stabled outside the Old Goods Shed, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) is stabled outside the ‘Swindon Shed’, sister D6575 (33 057) leaves with the train for Dunster from Platform 1 while at Platform 2, GWR 2-6-2T 5199 forms the rear of the ‘Local’ to Bishops Lydeard which will be hauled by ‘Hymek’ D7018 (to save a positioning move). The WSR’s 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ 9351 forms the tail of the Dunster service (she will haul the train back from Dunster). Capture courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) at the head of the 0850 Bishops Lydeard to Dunster service (where a heritage bus service will provide a connection to Minehead). At the rear of the train is the WSR’s 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ 9351 (she will haul the train back from Dunster). Photo by Steve Edge © CC BY-NC 3.0
WELL DONE to all who planned, prepared and delivered this excellent event and to those that had to endure poor weather conditions while doing so. The sights and sounds of the intensive workings were a delight! Thanks also to those who bought a ticket or merchandise and in doing so contributed to the success of the event !
The RAILCAM UK team continue to post videos on their YouTube channel using material that they gathered during the recent Mixed Traction Weekend. The footage that was filmed from Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) during her trip around the East Chord at Norton Fitzwarren is very rare and particularly interesting.
Visit their YouTube video page and choose the section of the line that interests you the most, then take a virtual ride by clicking on the relevant video. Some of their videos have already received more than 10,000 views and this is providing excellent exposure for the whole WSR family. DID YOU KNOW that the RAILCAM UK operation is entirely funded by subscribers, with no corporate sponsorship at all ? These webcams have to be bought, installed, maintained, managed and in many cases, the internet data service has to be provided as well, so hats off to RAILCAM UK for making it all happen and bringing the railway to those who are unable to attend in person. JOIN THEM and subscribe to help them expand their activities.
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – as the depot was open to the public for the Autumn Steam Gala, the ongoing and tedious work of stripping the ‘Prestolith’ filler from the bodyside of the loco had to be restricted (it is both noisy and dusty work), so the opportunity was taken to address some specific features of the bodyside that were crying out for attention. A curious feature that was added to the class after construction is an inspection door that allows access to the brushgear of the compressor. This takes the form of a vertically-oriented ‘letterbox’ that is just big enough to allow the cover to be removed from the compressor motor so that the brushes can be cleaned, inspected and replaced, as necessary. This feature received a clean-up and a coat of primer. It will receive attention to the surface finish when the bodyside repaint takes place.
Another target was the ‘FIRE PULL’ fittings, one on each side of the loco, where the glass covers had been allowing water to get inside, resulting in corrosion. The covers were removed for renovation and the fittings were cleaned and undercoated to prevent further deterioration. They will get more attention at a later date.
This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D1010 to full operational condition.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) – this loco was on standby at Williton for the duration of the Autumn Steam Gala.
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) – this loco was in action on each day of the Autumn Steam Gala.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is waiting patiently for her turn in the ‘Swindon Shed’ where she needs to go over the pit for the bogies to be disconnected before the body gets lifted. This work is pencilled-in for the ‘work week’ that will take place in the first week of November, subject to space being available in the ‘Swindon Shed’.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – this loco is booked for the last ‘excursion’ special of the season that will run on Saturday 16th October and will include an extension to Norton Fitzwarren. Please do try to come along if you can. Tickets are available via this link or by clicking on the ticket graphic below (this is a link to the WSR website):
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – more progress on this loco as major components are readied for re-assembling to the frames once they are re-wheeled:
This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D9518 to full operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco is based at the Kent & East Sussex Railway for the rest of this year, but she has run into a patch of trouble and she has not been available for service on more than one occasion. The source of the fault has been traced to a failed diaphragm inside the engine governor. The governor is the device that regulates the engine speed in relation to load by controlling the flow of fuel, so it is quite a complex assembly. A spare diaphragm has now been fitted and the loco is ready to return to service while sister loco D9504 is undergoing heavy overhaul.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Unfortunately this running season has passed us by and the loco hasn’t been able to work (or earn). We really hope that this issue is resolved soon and the loco can move to the NYMR as planned.
BR-Brush Class 47 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ remains at Westridge Shed, Bishops Lydeard pending her move to the NYMR. Pictured with the reflection of Class 09 D4107 in her TOPS data panel on 18th September 2021 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – the engine governor override lever has now been repaired by John C so attention has moved back to bodywork repairs that need to be completed while the loco is residing inside the loco shed.
Many thanks to all of our volunteers who are hard at work cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !
BOOK REVIEW – this week, we have a another book review report that has been provided by longtime member and regular contributor Neale Long, covering a new book entitled Tribute To The Western Region Hydraulics by Tom Heavyside, published by Stenlake.
Here is Neale’s report:
“This small 56-page softback landscape book by well known Bolton railway photographer Tom Heavyside stemmed from his numerous visits to the south of the country chasing the remaining steam locomotives then still in service. Fortunately for us, this enabled him to assemble a collection of monochrome photographs covering diesel-hydraulic operation on British Rail from their earliest years right through to the end on that fateful day in February 1977.
The book therefore consists of a collection of largely unpublished photographs covering most of the principal diesel-hydraulic types in a variety of differing liveries and locations. Mainly though not exclusively of one picture per page, Tom’s photographs provide an excellent snapshot of the era from the very start with the D6300s (there is also a shot at Barry of D601) and D800s concluding with some shots of the final class 52 railtours with D1023 ‘WESTERN FUSILIER’.
Informative and accurate captioning together with a nice overview as an introduction all help in making this a thoroughly enjoyable and inexpensive product which all diesel-hydraulic enthusiasts will want to add to their libraries. There are any number of really interesting images captured by Tom’s camera, but two really stand out as worthy of mention, firstly a shot of D1025 ‘WESTERN GUARDSMAN’ leaving Stratford upon Avon on a LCGB charter for Newport via Honeybourne and Toddington (part of which is the now preserved GWSR) and secondly a shot of ‘Hymek’ D7084 banking a ‘Warship’-hauled freight train at Whiteball.
This is a nicely compiled collection of photographs by Tom Heavyside for sale at the bargain price of £11.95 which I unreservedly recommend. The author in his introduction now wishes he had paid more attention to the diesel hydraulics, easy to say with hindsight, but in the event he still managed to capture some great images – for which we should all be grateful.”
Many thanks to Neale for providing us with this review. This book is available from the WLA website – click this link.
While on the subject of publications, the DEPG 2022 CALENDAR is now IN STOCK in glossy A3 landscape format. Here’s a summary of the 12 high-resolution photos that have been so kindly donated by our members and supporters this year:
There is an animated video on our website that steps through the calendar month-by-month, so CLICK HERE to view the animation.
We have been able to keep the price the same as last year, so the calendar will again cost the princely sum of £1 per month, so we think that is a bargain that is not to be missed. Click here to order your copy while stocks last.
ON SHED – while gathering some background for the restoration appeal for D9518 recently, my eye was drawn to this photo of Gloucester Horton Road depot by well-known photographer and writer Norman Preedy. The line-up of ‘Teddy Bears’ includes (L-R) D9527, D9514 and our own D9518, along with an unidentified ‘Hymek’ and a North-British D63xx Type 22. The three Class 14s were on their way to Hull Dairycoates depot because there was no work for them on the Western Region at that time. They didn’t last long at Hull before being sold to the National Coal Board (NCB) at bargain prices, and sent to Ashington Colliery, Northumberland, where they worked until the early 1980s.
Class 14s D9527, D9514 and D9518 (L-R) pause at Gloucester Horton Road Depot on 4th July 1969 while on their journey to Hull Dairycoates Depot. A blue ‘Hymek’ is just visible on the far left and a NBL Class 22 D63xx is on the right of the picture. Photo by the late Norman Preedy ©
DEPG NEWS – the focus this month is going to be preparing the locos and the depot for the upcoming winter period, ensuring that the right locos are in the right places for the work that is planned to take place over winter. The Autumn ‘work week’ starts on Saturday 30th October and runs until Sunday 7th November, so we welcome volunteers old and new to come along during that week and help us with tasks that are both loco-related and infrastructure-related. We look forward to seeing you.
DEPG WEBSITE: We reported low sales from our online store in September, probably as a result of all the events taking place all around the country, but that month is behind us now, so we need a BUMPER sales month to make up for it. So, please TAKE A LOOK – we now have our new 2022 CALENDAR and the newly-added PRE-OWNED BOOKS (there are plenty more yet to be added so keep an eye on this product category) and much more. Thanks in advance ! We intend to add DEPG beanie hats soon, but please let us know if there is something else that you think we should be offering.
WSR NEWS: The latest communications from the WSR tell us that the railway has performed well with respect to its financial targets, and after all of the hard work that has been done this year, this is very good news indeed! It certainly provides a lot of encouragement and motivation for all staff and volunteers to continue the work towards recovery. We are all hoping for a more ‘normal’ 2022 season, that’s for sure.